On November 5, 2019, Louisiana Believes announced that the Louisiana Department of Education declared that nearly 400 early learning centers have earned a spot on the state’s “Honor Roll” as a result of their performance in 2018-2019. This announcement came the day before the state released its annual early childhood performance profiles and K-12 school report cards in the Louisiana School and Center Finder.
“Louisiana took a great step forward when it began publicly reporting the performance of early childhood centers alongside their counterparts in K-12 systems. The Honor Roll released today complements that effort by recognizing and rewarding the sites that achieved remarkable success this past year. We applaud these sites for providing families, particularly those who are economically disadvantaged, with access to high-quality care and for acting as models for excellence and growth.” said State Superintendent John White.
“These standout sites really highlight the great work being done throughout Louisiana in early education. We are caring for our earliest learners in safe, emotionally supportive, and educational environments, preparing them for success in school and life,” said Tony Davis, a member of the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. “Our state is being well served by its investment in early childhood education, and I proudly continue to advocate for additional funding to expand these kinds of gains.”
The early childhood programs, which include early childhood centers, Head Start, and pre-kindergarten, that were recognized were placed within three categories:
- Excellent: the highest possible rating, the centers with this rating are among the best in the world.
- Birth to Three: sites in this category provided high-quality instruction and care to the state’s youngest learners, children from ages birth to three.
- Top Gains: centers within this category significantly improved their scores from the previous year.
In total, 363 sites made the Honor Roll, which is up fro 277 sites from 2017-2018. 113 of these were recognized in the “Excellence” category, 216 were in the “Birth to Three” category, and 57 were in the “Top Gains” category.
The sites and centers that were recognized on the Honor Roll span over 51 early childhood education community networks, many who oversee multiple sites on the list. For example, Rapids Parish oversees 63 sites that made it onto one or more of the lists. The network was one of the first early childhood education networks to establish a “Ready Start Community Network” and is one of the most improved in the state.
“The Ready Start Community Network” has steadily improved the quality of early care and education to our youngest children. In 2015-2016, Rapides has only 48 percent of our sites achieving Proficient. In 2018-2019, 95 percent of our early education sites are Proficient, and over 53 percent of those are High Proficient or Excellent. Our community network has much to celebrate because of the tireless work, energies, and single-purpose to provide excellent early childhood educational programs for Rapides children birth to age 5. We want every child in Rapides Parish to receive a high-quality learning experience that promotes student achievement and school readiness. These youngest citizens are our future and deserve our best efforts in creating quality classroom environments in which to reach their maximum potential.” said Cindy Rushing, early childhood coordinator for the Rapides Parish School District.
Each site and center on the Honor Roll will receive a special badge on their performance profiles on the Louisiana School and Center Finder and a state certificate.
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